(Closed) How did we skip this convo? / Living together before marriage (long, sorry)

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: Did you move in together before an engagement/marriage?

    Yes, and I'm glad we did.

    Yes, but I regret doing so.

    No, and I'm glad we didn't.

    No, but I wish we had.

    Obligatory other?

  • Post # 17
    4581 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    You sound pretty much exactly like me. I’m an only child and had never lived anywhere other than my parents’ home until I moved in with DH (BF at the time). He had owned a home for a few years and had a roommate for a while.

    I’ve always felt I could never commit to spending my life with someone without knowing what it’s like to live with them first. DH struggled a bit with the idea because we knew his family would view us as living in sin. But once we had been together for three years and he wasn’t 100% ready to propose just yet, living together seemed like the obvious next step. So I moved in with him and I’m so glad I did. It was a huge adjustment and we both agree (we were just talking about it recently) that the stress of living together right after marriage would have been even harder to deal with.

    It took months to really feel at home but we eventually got comfortable and we got engaged after living together for a year. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

    Post # 18
    1646 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2015

    @Dogsbody92:  I couldn’t exactly answer the poll. SO and I are literally right in the middle of moving all our stuff into the condo he bought. So while we are living together before being engaged or married, we technically aren’t yet.

    That said, I see both sides. You want to live together first to see what its like, get used to the little differences you have, and work out any bumps in the relationship first. He wants to wait until your engaged because it makes it more “real” (sorry, I couldn’t think of another way to word it) and helps keep a bit of mystery in the relationship. Both views are valid. The problem is finding a compromise.

    Do either of you live on your own? If so, would your SO be open to the idea of you (or him) staying over for a long weekend or something every once in a while? Its not living together, but it could give you guys a better idea of what to expect. You guys can also spend time talking over finances, grocery shopping together, and just spending as much time together as possible. Doing those things could help you see what kinds of spending habits and personal habits you both have, so neither of you are quite as shocked when you do start living together.

    And going away on vacation together can be an eye opener as well, so if you’re able to (even for a weekend get-away) you may want to consider it.

    Most important thing you both can do is to have a good conversation, where you both listen and get to express your opinions or concerns. If you do that you have a good chance of working something out. 🙂

    Post # 19
    1722 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 1998

    Having lived with someone before I got married, I would never consider marrying someone I hadn’t first lived with. I don’t care if other people raise their eyebrows or give a scandalous “oh” when they learn about it. Thankfully, the rates of folks living together before marriage are increasing.

    Mine was a success for several reasons, in my opinion. We dated 2 1/2 years before living together, spending increasing amounts of time together as time went on. Before I moved in, we were together basically whenever he was out of work. I’d cook dinner for us, even help clean the apartment.

    We talked frankly before I moved in about expectations related to housework, finances, marriage, children, etc. We were on the same page. If he couldn’t give me a direct answer, I prodded and asked more questions until he could be specific. We agreed on a 1-year timeline to engagement, and that’s what happened. We were married 2 years after I moved in.

    After the wedding, we got to have peace and calm…not adjusting to living with one another after making a lifelong commitment.

    The romance? Pffft. A marriage is about more than romance. Nothing wrong with having it, but I do think it can be a problem when it’s at odds with pragmatism. I’d rather know if I could do something for years to come, if we were compatible while living together, than get to have a brief ‘fairytale’ after moving in together post-marriage.

    Post # 20
    11522 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    I am the type of person who is so picky that it took me an entire year to choose a sofa, and I once broke an engagement, because I finally realized that I could not go through with that wedding. I also didn’t get married until I was 47 years old, because I had so many non-negotiable criteria for a husband. However, because of my faith, I did not ever live with an SO prior to marriage. I realize that this is an exceedingly unpopular path in the eyes of many, but I know many other couples who have also made this same choice.

    Post # 21
    358 posts
    Helper bee

    I think your completely right. It sounds like he’s still in the honeymoon phase and living together will really let you see how it will be living together everyday, good times bad times, dealing with stress, chores and money will be.  I feel much more confident marring my SO now that we have lived together for two years and are still happy and in love

    Post # 22
    278 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    You sound exactly like me, hard to live with, only child, can’t comprehend commiting to someone 100% without living with them first.

    DH and I had been dating for about 3 years before we moved intogether (granted, those 3 years were junior-senior years in HS then freshman year in college where were in separate dorms). When we did we were on a roomate set up (separate bedrooms/finaces).

    The idea of “buying a  car before you drive it” just never occured to me.

    On the other hand a couple that is very close to us never lived together until they got married. they spent the night at each other’s apartments sometimes, but never cohabitated. The first few months of their marriage were a disater and it was all our circle of friends could do to keep them from divorcing after 2 months. they’re pretty much over it now and doing well, but still, that all could have been avoided!

    Post # 23
    1326 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I think the bigger issue is that you’ve never lived on your own before. I cannot imagine getting married without having lived on my own for at least a few years! Those were some of the best of my life!


    Post # 24
    1511 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    @Dogsbody92:  I feel very much the same way.  Luckily, my fiance also felt that way.

    Neither of us wanted to even get engaged until we’d been living together for a while.  You really can learn a lot about a person by living with them, and it definitely forces you to have what are sometimes awkward conversations (such as delegating chores, dealing with finances, and so on).

    We’ve been living together for almost 2.5 years and we’ve been engaged since last November.  I think we’ve grown closer as a couple and feel confident about the success of our marriage because we’ve been living together.  

    I know plenty of people who didn’t live together before, and many of them have happy, healthy marriages.  For me, though, living together before getting married (or even engaged!) was a must.  I don’t think I could feel comfortable committing my life to someone else without doing so (and, as I mentioned before, my fiance felt the same).

    Post # 25
    850 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @Dogsbody92:  The thing about living together is that on your average day, it’s about 20% romance, 80% REAL LIFE, with real-life, annoying stuff including chores, bills, and making plans. But because I spend the majority of my time living REAL LIFE with this man, I am 100% certain that I love him, because all this annoying stuff is better and in many cases, FUN when we’re dealing with it together, rather than apart.

    We saw no reason to wait to figure this out and lived together within a few months of dating. Seven years later, after experiences so many non-romantic parts of life together, comforting each other in grief and in sickness, making countless decisions together – big and small, we were able to stand up at our wedding, look each other in the eyes and confidently say, this is for life. To me, that was so much more meaningful than some idea about romance. I wouldn’t change anything about the path we took to get there.

    Post # 26
    1880 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I didn’t move in with my husband until after we got engaged. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. There was an article out recently with a study that showed that people who moved in either after engagement or with a clear path to engagement are significantly less likely to divorce after marriage than those who move in with no more serious committment than when living apart. I really don’t think living together altered how we felt at all especially once we’d already committed to marry each other.

    Post # 27
    229 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    View original reply
    @Brielle:  I agree with you!

    Im not living with FH until a month before the wedding. For us, cohabiting before marraige seems like jumping the gun. FH is my BFF, so I know that we’ll work through whatever cohabiting issues that may arise.

    Post # 28
    445 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I basically lived with my husband before we got married, for the last 4 years of our relationship I essentially lived at his house, which was 10 minutes from my mom’s house, I just didn’t sleep there.

    Post # 29
    2393 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I voted that we didn’t live together before marriage, and I’m glad.


    I know my view on this is unpopular and that many, if not most couples are living together before marriage these days.

    But I understand where the OP’s fiance is coming from. I always felt that living together before marriage would spoil the fun. I really wanted to do things the old-fashioned way and get married first. I really wanted to experience that “newlywed and under the same roof together for the first time” feeling, all at once. 

    DH and I had no problems adjusting once we tied the knot and moved in together. We are well matched and compatible. We’ve been married a year and a half now, and we’ve never had a fight per se, just a couple of small disagreements here and there that didn’t amount to anything and were quickly resolved.

    We went into this with the mindset that we were committed to making it work, as opposed to doing a test run to see if it would work out. I really believe that if you’re correctly matched with your mate, living together before marriage is not really as necessary as some might claim, because when you’re truly committed to each other and making it work, the little things sort themselves out. But again, I realize most people here would disagree with me on that. 

    To each her own… but getting back to the OP, I hope you and your Fiance figure out a way to compromise on this so that both of you are comfortable with whatever decision you make. Good luck. 


    Post # 31
    149 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    View original reply
    @distracts:  FH proposed after 5 months of dating (7 years as casual acquaintances).  We set a date and began putting down deposits before I moved in with him.  My lease was expiring on my flat so if he wanted me to not sign another lease for a year, which I was going to do if we weren’t engaged, he would have to propose before it expired.  He knew it was fine with me for us to continue dating and living separately but he didn’t want to wait so he proposed. 

    Doing things this way made me feel a lot more sure that our lives were moving toward what we both wanted out of this relationship and not staying in some limbo girlfriend/boyfriend state that I didn’t feel was worth my time at this point in my life.

    Also, I always point out that same article that I think you’re referring to.  Here is the link for the OP.


    The topic ‘How did we skip this convo? / Living together before marriage (long, sorry)’ is closed to new replies.

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